The sermon today focused on having a path towards leading a good Christian life. He used an old Jewish word which meant catapulted or shot from an arrow, not a slow meandering pace but a fast accurate direction. He stated the Greek term for Sin was missing the mark. So the analogy of an Archer aiming the arrow to hit the bull’s-eye (the Good Christian walk), and missing the whole target = Sin. I only wish in times past I wrote this down, because the way I view my walk has been the same for last 10 years and has not changed much. I wrote it down many times already but never blogged it, I wrote it in personal letters to people. One thing about knowing your walk it is easy to recall and since it has not changed it is fairly easy to write again.
I like to compare my walk to a long and winding highway. The highway is most often just two lane blacktop passing through the country with corn fields and cows, and mostly farmland. It often passes through large towns and cities and becomes 4 lanes and often has many exits as the speed limit also varies from slow to very high speeds. Most of the time I have been able to stay on the pavement heading in the right direction. Choosing the middle lane always seems the best and safest. I stopped smoking and do not drink alcohol very often and when I do it is in moderation never becoming drunk. When trying my best to concentrate on the road up ahead I often notice the farmland gives way to a beautiful scenic forest of evergreens and with large fields of tall grass and wild flowers, it is than I slow down to capture the beauty of the scenery as I drive past. Sometimes something so breathtaking it is worth pulling over and stopping and parking on the soft shoulder. This is similar to seeing a beautiful woman, where I cannot just take a quick glimpse but need a good solid look. So I stop and gaze in wonderment of how a woman can smile at me and how she makes me feel. Still I am on the soft shoulder and Lust has not entered my mind. Yet other times she does not notice me and she walks through the field of tall grass and I can barely see her anymore so I hop the Fence by the soft shoulder of the road. It takes great effort to climb this fence so she really has to be worth the effort, once I climb over the fence I can still the road is close by and not far off. But sometimes the loneliness creeps in and like a large Squid with long tentacles’ it reaches out and grabs a hold of me and pulls me into the tall field of grass, I now can see her again and her beauty is my attraction, as she dances in the field I run now to try and catch her. She now notices me and she laughs and knows my name; “come Joey, come to me, dance with me.” The need for affection and love being so great I listen and obey and run faster trying to catch her. I can no longer see the road as I am heading for the woods, the deep dark Forrest. She is at the entrance of the Forrest and beckons me to follow her in the woods. My heart races as I want her, I can smell her, like a primal beast stalking my prey, I snarl and growl as the animal in me takes over. What was once a man now just a mammal with no modern or trained thought, just raw emotions built up over time. I jump and launch myself into the woods chasing after her, once in the dark woods, impure thoughts and lust take over, I can see creatures looking out, yellow eyes in the darkness, fear is breathing through the air, as I am the hunter and the woman is now my prey. It is than I lose my way, my moral compass is out of whack, I lose track of time and where I am only thinking of her. Minutes, hours, days can go bye, once I devour her, I am satisfied almost like a Lion who takes down a large wildebeest, it gorges itself so full it falls asleep, and when it wakes there is plenty more meat on the carcass. The good news is friends and family and God come looking for the lost and often stumble upon me. “JOE did not know you were in the woods, follow the path we made out of the woods back to the road and get on you bike and drive home” I listen to them and start singing that song, I Once was lost and now I am found, a wicked wretch like me. I find the roadway and now I must go and stay on the road. A feeling of great Joy comes over me, as it overtakes me and once again I realized I have sinned and need to repent. I reach the road and thank God and others from rescuing me. I tell God I am sorry and will try to keep on the road. As I speed down the long road the one we call our Christian walk, I try to keep my eyes focused on the road ahead in the middle lane the safe lane, and once in a while I take short glance over to the beauty on the side of the road.
I am proud to keep on the road the mass majority of the time. We are after all only frail humans who need love and affection and finding it along the road, at the road side rest which is still fenced in near the highway, is often harder to do than hoping the fence and running through the fields into the deep dark woods to play. Putting on horse blinders is no way to live life, having self-control and maintaining it is a daily mission. Some call it your daily Christian walk in life.
As you can see not exactly the bow and arrow shot from the archer hitting the bull’s-eye that I sincerely believe is only for few after all who can honestly say they hit the bull’s-eye dead center every day? Better to think of the Christian walk as a highway and you can change lanes and even stop on the soft shoulder, take a glimpse after all it is not a sin to enjoy the beauty around you. Than you get back on the bike and ride off and merge into the safe lane, the middle lane, and keeps your eyes focused ahead. That is how I view my Christian walk.